Excuses are not solutions

It has been about 30 years since I first used the phrase “excuses are not solutions.” I was on the phone with someone who was giving me an entire list of all the reasons why something could not be accomplished instead of offering any ideas of how to get what I needed to have done.

Fast forwarding through the years I would say the number one excuse that I have heard from people is that they are waiting for something to happen. This is, waiting for an answer, waiting for an investor, waiting for the weekend to pass, waiting for someone to come back from vacation, waiting for the right time, waiting, waiting, waiting…

If you really are waiting for something or someone it just means you have more time to plan better and create other options. In other words, waiting is just one more excuse that belongs to you and no one else. If you instead use this waiting time to make progress a must then you might be surprised how much can be accomplished when at first you thought there was nothing you could possibly do. That time in between where once you thought nothing was possible can suddenly become a zone of the greatest creativity perhaps of your entire life.

Need help? Ask for it. Be prepared. Have the plan. Show the vision. Communicate the purpose. When wisdom comes, when answers come, when money comes, take them — if you still need them —for even when it comes to money as you should never discount The Power of Broke. Not having enough money can be just as powerful in forging a creative force as is waiting for just about anything else.

Excuses are just another form of complaining and as Gary Vaynerchuk says, complaining is very unattractive…

Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, in their book Extreme Ownership, talk about the concept of Leading Up the Chain of Command. Basically all the things you can do instead of waiting for the people above you to get their head out of their ass and out of your way. Plus, as Jocko says the ultimate Jujutsu move one can make is to make your boss believe it was their idea for whatever solutions you come up with. Stop waiting, stop complaining, achieve your goals, and don’t take credit. Easy? No, but that’s ultimate separation between high performance and no performance. Besides, if, of all things, you are waiting for someone to change, realistically how long is that going to take?

(Originally posted on Medium)